Site crashed due to misconfigured plugin

Hi elgg community, 

This is a bit of a cry for help as I enabled a captcha plugin which was misconfigured and it immediately crashed my site. 

I went into ftp and deleted the plugin which bought the site back online for about 24-hours, however for some reason it's gone down again.

The previous message before the site re-crashed is below, all I can think of is that the site still thinks the plugin is there somewhere but can't find it, or something like that. My usual web-dev has gone silent on this one so am calling to the community to find out whether there's any help available. 





captcha is a misconfigured plugin.

PluginException Object
[message:protected] => captcha is a misconfigured plugin.
[string:private] => exception 'PluginException' with message 'captcha is a misconfigured plugin.' in /home/sites/
Stack trace:
#0 /home/sites/ load_plugins()
#1 /home/sites/ require_once('/home/sites/suc...')
#2 {main}
[code:protected] => 0
[file:protected] => /home/sites/
[line:protected] => 245
[trace:private] => Array
[0] => Array
[file] => /home/sites/
[line] => 175
[function] => load_plugins

[1] => Array
[file] => /home/sites/
[line] => 18
[args] => Array
[0] => /home/sites/

[function] => require_once



  • Maybe there are some incomplete / faulty entities in your database (due to the stuff the spammers added and/or you might have deleted in getting rid of the spam). This could result in WSODs when calling some pages on your site. You could try Cash's database validator plugin (

  • That could be the problem.

    Ok the plugin is installed and enabled. The site's news plugin did have a fault which led to an exception error, but we knew how to get around it, spammers might not though and could have triggered it or something. 


  • I'm seeing odd things with your site. On the registration page there are links off your site with the text "We got tickets". If your plugins are turned off, that means the core code has been edited. Plus, you're running Elgg 1.6.1 which was released back in 2009.

  • Hi Cash,


    The guy who originally developed the site back in 2009 stupidly mucked about with the engine but I was never told exactly what it was, we'd like to update it to elgg 1.8 (he built more than one site) but we're not sure what will be corrupted. 

    Saying that, the site worked mostly fine until last week, I'm wondering if the content the spammers put up is what may have screwed the db, though this is guesswork. 

  • You might want to compare the Elgg code on your site with the original Elgg 1.6.1 code. Depending on what OS you have, you can use for example kdiff (Linux) or dirdiff (Windows, Of course, you need to download the code from your server first. By comparing the code you can check, if your server might have been hacked. And you will also see what changes the guy who developed your site had made which might be useful in case you want to upgrade your site sometimes.

    Deleting all content and accounts the spammers have posted should remove possible faulty entries in the database (at least after execution of the database validation plugin again).

  • @TimClark ok, you need to talk with your original developer and ask him what did he do and then come back to us. Also try to remember if you change some core views.

    Rodolfo Hernandez
    Arvixe/Elgg Community Liaison

  • 1. Is the "We got tickets" supposed to be on the registration page?

    2. Getting a list of how the engine was changed will help with upgrading.

    3. If you're site is functional now with all the plugins turned off, start turning them back on one at a time.

  • Thanks a lot for all the help, it's really appreciated. 

    I've gone into phpmyadmin to delete all the junk users on the system, we did delete as we went along but though they're cleared from the site, they aren't from the database. Clearing out the db of whatever was added may help clear anything which corrupted the system. 

    @cash - the wegottickets was part of a plugin which was build by dhrup a year or two ago to allow events to be fed into the event_calendar, it's somehow on the registration page because something got corrupted somewhere along the line. 

  • @cash Hi again. The idea of turning plugins off completely and then turning them back on again one by one seemed to do the trick. I cleared the db of all the spam users, then the elggobjects_entity, followed by elgggroups_entity, going through and making sure that the spam accounts had any imput gone.

    Anyhow long story short, I started turning plugins back on with relative success until vazco_db_backup crashed the site. Now, question is do I delete any plugins which crash the site from now on?



  • @Tim:
    I did not build the WeGotTickets part for your Registration Page
    Only the Feed Fetch into the (Jardine) Event-Calendar ;-P
    You should ask your 3rd world developers (sic) what code they
    patched that they had never ever wanted to share with me...
    ps: one advice (& i've said this before) --
    get a better hosting !